For Veteran’s Sake Foundation was created for the lack of services being offered for veterans suffering from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). Many veterans who are suffering from this condition have nowhere to turn. For a long time the VA was prescribing drugs to these men and women basically turning them into empty shells of what they once were. Something had to be done!
Twenty five years ago Monty Hutson began putting together a program that could help this condition. Monty was a practicing hypnotist that was also a veteran. He began putting together a mixture of hypnosis and interrogation techniques to quickly get to the cause of what was altering many veterans. With a lack of funds to do research and many of the universities laughed at what he was wanting to do, he decided to contact the prisons to see if they would let him practice and prove the techniques he developed. Many of them agreed to let him in to see what he can do. The process was named “Neuro-Traumatic Resourcing”. This process helped to quickly identify what many of the triggers are that can instantly raise the level of anxiety or insecurity in a person. Once these triggers have been identified then he could create a strategy to counter the triggers. The great thing about this process is that the client gets to be part of their own fix. They’re taught how to implement mental exorcises when they feel a trigger has been activated. This is really good for the client because they will learn how to use these techniques for other things that may arise in their life that may be stressful.
A few years ago I was working with a dog trainer that claimed he was providing service dogs to veterans. I was very skeptical because there are many people who do this to try to make quick money on the sympathy of veterans suffering from PTSD. I asked if I could watch how he trained his dogs to respond to symptoms. I observed this trainer for over ten months and never seen him complete or even train a dog to where his training stuck with the dog. The trainer was a phony, he had good ideas but could not make them work. So I started researching many other training techniques and talked with many military trainers and handlers. I started working with dogs on my own using the concept of hypnosis with K9’s. (I know, it sounds crazy). What I did was start observing the dogs before any training was conducted. I found that letting the dogs warm up to you and letting their personalities come out gave me the advantage of creating a training program custom tailored for how the dog learns. People learn in different ways whether it be hands on or by reading. I felt dogs were the same way. Many times I have seen people take their dogs to trainers for obedience training. The dog was fine with the trainer but when back at home it was the same dog, as if nothing has been done. This is where I use the same concept with the dogs as I do with the humans I work with. We learn the dog’s triggers and what they respond to, then we implement tactics for the dogs. I try to create the atmosphere to where the dog is excited about wanting to learn new things. This is sometimes done with peer pressure. By having dog’s that are advanced in the training, the dog that is unsure will at least see what needs to be accomplished. Then it’s up to us to create the avenue to which to dog will commit to the task. One of these methods was my beloved Saxon, who was a military service dog. Saxon loved to help me train (I think he laughed at me most of the time). Saxon would sit on the sidelines and observe many of the other dog’s we would be working with. If we had a dog that was being unruly or not paying attention Saxon would charge after the dog and take him down. He never hurt the dogs, he was actually very gentle but he got their attention. I studied how Saxon did this and found that he was always communicating with the dogs from the sidelines. Dogs can communicate with very precise movements. I learned from Saxon and started mimicking his actions, it took a while but I was able to learn some of his body language. I like to believe that Saxon was sent to me for a reason, he passed away Aug. 2, 2016. Saxon is buried at the new training facility in New Mexico where he can still be part of what he loved, “Training”.
The new facility in New Mexico
We are very excited about the new training facility ( Eaglehawk Ranch) in New Mexico. We currently have ten acre’s and are looking at buying twenty more acres adjoining what we already have. We have a few very large buildings and a large barn that was meant for horses. We are turning that barn into kennels for our dogs. There’s currently six different turnouts that are being de-rocked and made into individual training areas. We’re event looking for restaurant supplies to create our own restaurant atmosphere. As we grow we will be building portable rooms like in a TV studio so that we can recreate a veteran’s home environment to train the dogs. This helps so that when the dogs arrive at their new home they are familiar with it. It will also help to teach the dogs how to turn lights on and off if needed, to retrieve from the fridge, or recover clothing from a dresser. All the dogs are trained to the veteran’s individual needs. Being a full service shop that provides counseling and K9 training it gives us the advantage.
Mobile PTSD K9 service unit
Even more exciting is our mobile PTSD K9 service unit. This motorhome was donated to us so that we can get on the road and help assist those veterans who can’t get to us. We are going to travel to a number of different locations to set up and help those vet’s that may have obtained their own dog. We want to help them with the training so that they stay on course for creating a service dog. We need to help educate these vet’s so they understand what a service dog really is and how they must conduct themselves in public. We are advocates for exposing phony service dogs. We even offer classes to many businesses teaching them their rights pertaining to service dogs in their establishments. This mobile unit will also allow us to assist the many truck drivers out there that are veterans. Many of these drivers will never give up a load and lose money to go see someone at the VA. That’s where we are going to step in and offer our services at many truck stops. These veterans can stop in and see us without an appointment. It’s our duty to help them and make a difference in their current “military condition”. We hope to have nine more mobile units up and going in the next two years. These units will roam different areas of the United States. We’re hoping to have at least one counselor and one trainer with each unit.